A Simple Model of Optimal Hate Crime Legislation

11 Pages Posted: 29 Jun 2011

See all articles by Li Gan

Li Gan

Texas A&M University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Roberton C. Williams III

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Thomas Wiseman

University of Texas at Austin - Department of Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: July 2011

Abstract

We present a simple model of the effects of hate crime legislation. We show that even if the direct harm to victims of hate crime is the same as for other crimes, because of other differences in the effects it may still be optimal to exert a different level of law‚Äźenforcement effort to deter or prevent hate crime. These differences also have previously unrecognized effects on the optimal level of effort by potential hate crime victims to avoid being victimized, thus affecting the efficiency of government policies that encourage or discourage such effort. In some cases, the optimal level of government effort may be lower for hate crimes than for other crimes. Our analysis suggests a role for policy tools that influence individual avoidance effort directly. We discuss the implications of our results for similar types of crime, including terrorism.

JEL Classification: K42, K14, D02

Suggested Citation

Gan, Li and Williams III, Roberton C. and Wiseman, Thomas, A Simple Model of Optimal Hate Crime Legislation (July 2011). Economic Inquiry, Vol. 49, Issue 3, pp. 674-684, 2011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1874500 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1465-7295.2009.00281.x

Li Gan (Contact Author)

Texas A&M University - Department of Economics ( email )

5201 University Blvd.
College Station, TX 77843-4228
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Roberton C. Williams III

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Thomas Wiseman

University of Texas at Austin - Department of Economics ( email )

Austin, TX 78712
United States

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